Best bets for where to take a date (or yourself) this Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome.
FRENCH ON A BUDGET
Chloe’s French Cafe; Table D’Hote Dinners (Feb. 13 is the first)
Everyone things French food is romantic. And it is — but haute dining can leave your wallet feeling a bit abused. Chloe’s pre-Valentine Table D’Hote communal dinner is my top pick for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which is getting your honey buttered up a whole day early. Second because the price is so very right. And who says communal dining is romantic? Frankly, BiteClub can’t imagine what could be more fun than chatting with new friends over a dinner of Boeuf Bourguignon.
The menu: Passed appetizers; pea shoot & baby greens salad with roasted cauliflower, seared pears and Petit Basque cheese with garlic buttermilk creme dressing; classic Boeuf Bourguignon with tender morsels of beef slowly braised in red wine accompanied by roasted mushrooms, herb potatoes and caramelized shallots; Paris Brest au chocolat- crispy pate a choux with chocolate creme mousseline and caramel sauce. Coffee & Tea.
The deets: The first dinner will take place in Chloe’s new event space, L’Olivier on Friday, February 13th at 6:30pm. This prix fixe menu is $26.50 per guest and includes passed appetizers along with a 3-course meal. A selection of French & Sonoma wines will be available for purchase by the glass or bottle. Reserve your seat now by calling the cafe at 707-528-3095. 3883 Airway Drive, Santa Rosa.
I SO KNOW YOU
Humble Pie: This Penngrove sleeper doesn’t have to wear makeup and heels to impress. It’s my favorite spot for snuggling in the booth, hearty comfort-food eating and coming to the realization that the cute guy stealing your tater tots off your plate is someone you could easily spend the rest of your life with. Er, meaning your sweetheart.
The menu: Sweetheart Salad of Organic greens, strawberries, jicima and blood orange with a honey champagne vinigrette; NY STEAK, 14oz of lovely local beef cooked however you please. served with rosemary roasted potatoes or fresh, housemade Meyer Lemon Pasta Pasta with a meyer lemon olive oil, white beans, parmesan cheese and topped with ohio fried chicken; chocolate fondue for two with fresh ripe fruit.
The deets: Prix fixe menu with three seatings: 6pm, 8pm and 10pm. $40 without wine, and $55 with wine which will be champagne to start and wine with dinner. Accepting walk-ins but reservations are a very good idea. 10056 Main Street, Penngrove, (707) 664-8779
Cafe Saint Rose: It’s Chef Mark’s birthday week, so all the stops are out. Five days of fun: Prince movie, Purple Rain starts off the weekly dinner and a movie, followed by serenades from a sultry French chanteuse, birthday bash celebrations and partying right into the weekend with their Valentine menu.
The menu: Starters: Sheeps Milk Ricotta Sformatino, Prickly Pears and Mache; Ice Cold Salmon Caviar over a Crisp Poached Egg and Brioche; Seared Foie Gras and Gratinated Duck Hearts; Our First Asparagus! Entrees: John Dory Fillet “A La Plancha” with Sautéed Shallots and Shishito Peppers; Croustade of Farm Hen, Black Truffles and Fairy Heart Greens; A Very Sexy Lobster Salad; Hunk of Meat, Crispy Potatoes, Totally Bereft of Vegetables. Dessert: Rosewater Pots with Pistachio Brittle; Floating Islands; Chocolates. The deets: $55 per person. 9890 Bodega Hwy, Sebastopol, 829.5898.
You can’t have a sexy Valentine’s meal without a few oysters, right? Two of my fave spots for the slippery stuff: Stark’s and Nick’s Cove in Point Reyes. Starks serves up chilled raw oysters daily, but if you like your shellfish a little more, uh, cooked, try the baked oysters with artichoke, leek and smoked bacon. Nick’s Cove has great BBQ oysters as well as a rockin’ raw bar. Stark’s Steakhouse, 521 Adams St., Santa Rosa, 707.546.5100. Nick’s Cove, 23240 Hwy One, Marshall, 415.663.1033.
MORE VALENTINE IDEAS
Grazianos Lover’s Extravaganza: Regular
menu and prixe fixe menu with four courses.The menu: Garden beet salad
with goat cheese or yellowtail crudo; ravioli with mushroom and black
truffle or veal tonnato; braised pork cheek with ciopolini onion;
chocolate truffles, lemon ice cream with cookies, $75, 170 Petaluma
Petaluma, (707) 762-5997
Cotati Corner Valentine Winemaker’s Dinner
experience a wonderful romantic dinner paired with great wines! Chef
Adair & Jason the winemaker from Hook & Ladder will be with us
to provide a 4 course meal paired with wineCost is $100 + tax per
person, which includes everything. Reserve today! We only have room for
15 couples. 1818 Laplaza #106, Cotati, (707) 793-9357
Jimtown Store Valentine Dinner paired
with Hawkes Wine: Jimtown Store Valentine Dinner paired with Hawkes
Wine. The evening starts at 6:30 with Champagne and at 7:00 sit down
for a Beautiful 6 Course Dinner by Chef Peter Brown. $100p/p. 6706
State Highway 128, Healdsburg, (707) 433-1212.
WINE TASTING EVENTS
La Crema Lovers‘ Weekend, Feb. 14 and 15, 10:30 am-5:30 pm
Day should be about more than just chocolate and roses. Come fall in
love with your favorite La Crema wine all over again. Join us at the La
Crema Tasting Room this holiday weekend for a special wine and food
experience. $10 per person. La Crema Tasting Room, 235 Healdsburg
Avenue, Healdsburg, 707.431.9400
Wine Tasting in Bella Caves: Step
into the age of classic Hollywood romance nestled in the Bella cave.
Stroll the halls like a starlet and sip barrel tastes of fabulous
dessert wine paired with chocolate treats. Join us for a weekend
celebrating the season of romance! Movies will play on the cave big
screen and the Bella shenanigans will go all weekend long. No
reservation is required for Valentine’s Day weekend at Bella. The cave
is open each day from 11:00AM to 4:30PM. Tasting is $10 per person and
complimentary for Bella wine club members. Call us at 866.573.3552 for
Get Hot In the Kitchen on Valentine’s Day
Saturday, February 14 at 5:00 p.m.
with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, then sit down to a romantic meal
paired with Landmark’s finest wines. Appetizers and wine will start
the evening. Working with professional chefs from Hands-On-Gourmet,
couples will create a gourmet three course meal, then be served an
elegant dinner in our formal dining room. $125 per person. Please
reserve your place no later than Feb. 6. Contact Michael Baughman at
(707) 833-0228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love & Meritage: Valentine’s Day Wine Blending Party at Topel Tasting Room
Feb 14 2:00p to 3:30p at Topel Tasting Room, Healdsburg. Join winemaker
Mark Topel and celebrity sommelier and wine journalist Chris Sawyer for
a Valentine’s Day blending party. Create your own blend for Valentine’s
this historic bed and breakfast is bathed in a sea Victorian lace and
tassels, Chef Jesse Malgren’s nouvelle California cuisine keeps things
interesting. A real life maitre’d caters to your every request,
including a showstopping tableside dessert service. Snuggle up by the
crackling fire or just admire your lover’s face by the warm glow of
candlelight in this most proposal-worthy spot. Upstairs guest suites
make are highly conducive to , ahem, after-dinner romance. Madrona
Manor: 1001 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, 707.433.1542
you’re agreed that A) Anything French is romantic; B) Foods bathed in
butter are equally romantic and; C) Just saying Coq au Vin makes you
sexy, then this Parisian-style bistro just off the Windsor green is the
key to your smooch-filled night. The space is small and intimate, the
wine list extensive, and the atmosphere casual enough to not make your
date feel any serious obligation. Plus, it’s run by a young husband and
wife team who know a thing or two about keeping the fire burning in the
kitchen. 275 Windsor River Road, Windsor, 707.838.0162
wishes and caviar dreams come true at Sonoma County’s most ultra-luxe
restaurant. Think little carts wheeling around caviar and cheeses,
waiters snapping to attend to your every need and food so pretty it
seems a shame to eat. Be warned, you’ll pay a pretty penny for all that
indulgence, but you did say for richer, didn’t you? (Can’t afford
dinner? Stop in for some dazzling drinks at the bar.) Cyrus will be
open for lunch on Valentine’s Day. 29 North St., Healdsburg,
If the quiet country drive
to Forestville doesn’t get your Romance-O-Meter going, the warm glow of
the Farmhouse Inn on a dark winter’s night should at least get a
patter. Intimate almost to a fault, the restaurant is cozy and homey,
with snappy service and a Cal-French menu that plays to the flavors of
many regional wines on their extraordinary list. Plus, you can always
sneak upstairs for a little overnight nookie. 7871 River Road,